The best books about women, by women

Why am I passionate about this?

I was home educated by my mother, an ardent feminist, who tailored my curriculum to be a feminist one. I was reading Virginia Woolf and Mary Wollstonecraft from my very early days, so really, I was raised for this. I joke that I was a child solider for feminism, but in many ways it’s true. I’m a writer, broadcaster, and poet, and everything I do is through a gendered lens. Everything is about making the lives of women and girls better, so it stands to reason that I’m obsessed with women, and their stories. 


I wrote...

Book cover of These Impossible Things

What is my book about?

Malak, Kees, and Jenna have been best friends since childhood, helping each other navigate the twists and turns of life. But one night, something happens that sets them adrift from one another. With the friendship severed and their lives going in different directions, this is the story of what happens when the women in your life suddenly disappear. How your choices are different, and how you can become a different woman altogether. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Three Women

Salma El-Wardany Why did I love this book?

No one writes the female experience like Lisa Taddeo. She is a master at her craft. All the uncomfortable things, the unsaid things, and the complicated nuances of womanhood, that you’ve never been able to capture before, is so deftly grabbed and held down on the page by Taddeo. She is glorious and Three Women is a must-read. It will change you.

By Lisa Taddeo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Three Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The International No. 1 Bestseller A BBC 2 Between the Covers Book Club Pick 'Cuts to the heart of who we are' Sunday Times 'A book that begs discussion' Vanity Fair All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn't touch her? All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town? All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object…


Book cover of Circe

Salma El-Wardany Why did I love this book?

I’m obsessed with books that can depict the wonder, glory, and awfulness of womanhood. The beauty of it all alongside the pain and the suffering and the toil of it all. Madeline Miller takes a goddess and tells her story so truthfully, and with such grace, that it makes you question every retelling of history you’ve ever heard. It forces you to ask the question, if the Greek Gods got it so wrong, who else did? Circe is a work of art and you won’t be able to put it down. It left me wanting so much more of her. I was bereft when I turned the final page. 

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Circe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…


Book cover of Such a Fun Age

Salma El-Wardany Why did I love this book?

Female friendships aren’t easy. They’re complicated and tricky and so painfully intense, that navigating them can be difficult. Add in the complexities of race and the friendship between a white woman and a black woman, and the result is a story you can’t peel yourself away from. Reid does the rare trick of making you feel empathy for each character while also watching with a hand over your mouth in horror at what those characters are doing. She’s a master storyteller and this is a tale of womanhood everyone should read. 

By Kiley Reid,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Such a Fun Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Best Book of the Year:
The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • NPR • Vogue • Elle • Real Simple • InStyle • Good Housekeeping • Parade • Slate • Vox • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal • BookPage

Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A Reese's Book Club Pick 

"The most provocative page-turner of the year." --Entertainment Weekly

"I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." --NPR

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and…


Book cover of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Salma El-Wardany Why did I love this book?

This book has such a special place in my heart because it entirely and solely focuses women, their stories, and their relationships. The men, the lovers, the husbands, and the children are relegated to second place. It’s a beautiful story about a friendship group, the choices they make, and how their children live with the consequences of some of those choices. It’s also an incredible portrayal of the difficulties between mother/daughter relationships. This novel is so visceral that it will take you to the heart of a boiling-hot Louisiana summer in the 1930s. It’s stunning. 

By Rebecca Wells,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Film tie-in edition of the international bestseller. When Siddalee Walker, eldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker (Ya-Ya extraordinaire - part Scarlett, part Katharine Hepburn, part Tallulah) is interviewed about a hit play she has directed, her mother is described as a 'tap-dancing child abuser'.

Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda - devastating her daughter who postpones her wedding and puts her life on hold until she is granted forgiveness. Trying to repair the relationship, the Ya-Yas, Vivi's intrepid tribe of Louisiana girlfriends, sashay in and insist Sidda is sent 'The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', a scrapbook of their lives together…


Book cover of The Power

Salma El-Wardany Why did I love this book?

This book blew my mind. It’s the story about a world in which women discover a physical ability that means they’re, suddenly, the stronger sex. The gender roles are reversed. The power dynamic flipped. Men are walking in groups to stay safe. Men need chaperones in the street. And chaos ensues. It’s up to the reader to decide if it’s good or bad. 

It’s a completely thrilling venture into ‘what if’ and I loved every second of this book. Reimagining the world in a woman’s image was cathartic, thrilling, and a wonderful escape.

By Naomi Alderman,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017

'Electrifying' Margaret Atwood

'A big, page-turning, thought-provoking thriller' Guardian

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All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain - even death.
Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control.

The Day of the Girls has arrived - but where will it end?

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'The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale' Cosmopolitan

'I loved it; it was visceral, provocative and curiously pertinent . . . The story has stayed…


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The Dreadwater Gate

By Lisa Cassidy,

Book cover of The Dreadwater Gate

Lisa Cassidy Author Of The Nameless Throne

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Book nerd Fantasy lover Coffee snob

Lisa's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Born Nameless. Raised in ice and snow. Destined to rule.

Arya Nameless has sidestepped her destiny in favour of joining House Ravenstrike and helping Thiara Ravenstrike become High Warlord of Dunidaen. First, Arya must ensure that Thiara’s only son, Rorin, succeeds in running the Dreadwater Gate into Khadini, a deadly rite of passage that none have survived for decades. If they triumph, Arya will be named general of Ravenstrike’s army and land a political blow against their powerful adversary, Warlord Mathas Crowtalon.

Yet Khadini holds challenges far beyond what they expected. And while Arya contends with wild jungles, fierce enemy warriors, and potential new allies, the Nightstalker continues to seek her with relentless intensity. The monsters hunting her wield a dark magic she has no way of countering. Survival relies on staying hidden, secret.

Yet, when Arya’s wyvern calls, the time for hiding is over. 

Because destiny cannot be ignored forever.

The Dreadwater Gate

By Lisa Cassidy,

What is this book about?

Born Nameless. Raised in ice and snow. Destined to rule.


Arya Nameless has sidestepped her destiny in favour of joining House Ravenstrike and helping Thiara Ravenstrike become High Warlord of Dunidaen. First, Arya must ensure that Thiara's only son, Rorin, succeeds in running the Dreadwater Gate into Khadini, a deadly rite of passage that none have survived for decades. If they triumph, Arya will be named general of Ravenstrike's army and land a political blow against their powerful adversary, Warlord Mathas Crowtalon.


Yet Khadini holds challenges far beyond what they expected. And while Arya contends with wild jungles, fierce enemy…


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